University of Chester

Programme Specification
Management Studies PGCert
2014 - 2015

Postgraduate Certificate

Management Studies

Management Studies (UCS)

University of Chester

University Centre Shrewsbury


Postgraduate (Taught)


Residential and Open,

12 months Part Time

3 Years

Annual - October




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Business and Management Business and Finance

QAA Masters Degrees in Business and Management


Postgraduate Awards Assessment Board for Master of Business Administration

Tuesday 1st April 2008

The Certificate in Management Studies (CMS) programme is designed to provide knowledge and skills for general managers and management graduates. It is envisaged that CMS graduates will use this qualification to enhance their management careers. 

The programme develops the participant's intellectual and skills abilities in line with QAA subject and discipline benchmarks. Graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an insight into the complexities of business and management and the potential value of theoretical frameworks (all modules)
  • Understand how to interpret & use sound financial data to aid management decisions
  • Increase self-awareness & self-confidence by developing requisite personal skills enabling them to work effectively with other people in a variety of contexts
  • Develop their abilities to recognise, understand & cope with conflict, complexity & change
  • Understand & assess the significance of both global & national markets & be able to apply this knowledge in the workplace
  • Demonstrate an insight into strategy at a global & national level. Develop abilities to formulate, implement, monitor & evaluate policy & strategy within an ethical framework

    Learning outcomes will focus on both knowledge and skills. Participants will be able to apply aspects of their learning in their place of work. 

26.1 Knowledge and Understanding
Postgraduate Certificate in Management Studies
The graduating student that exits at this level will have the ability to translate and apply appropriate business skills and knowledge gained from the programmeto the context of their work role in a business environment.
26.2 Thinking or Cognitive Skills
Postgraduate Certificate in Management Studies
The graduating student who exits at this level will be able to deal with complex problems in a rational manner and will have the ability to apply these skills to real-world business situations.
26.3 Practical Skills
Postgraduate Certificate in Management Studies
The graduating student who exits at this level will be able to apply a hands-on approach to managing real-world business situations.
26.4 Key skills
Transferable/key skills:

  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving
Postgraduate Certificate in Management Studies
The graduating student who exits at this level will be able to demonstrate a number of cognitive and intellectual skills together with techniques specific to business and management. They should also demonstrate relevant personal and interpersonal skills.

To achieve a CMS, participants need to gain 60 level 7 credits.

The University does not confer Distinction or Merit on Postgraduate Certificate Awards.

The programme structure has been designed to ensure that participants cover the core modules that underpin the CMS and to equip them with the skills and competencies necessary for higher level management. 

The programme will be delivered as a part-time award. It will normally be delivered on an afternoon/evening basis but can also be delivered on a block/modular basis subject to demand. Modules may be delivered in parallel or sequentially in line with student needs.

Delivery and assessment of the programme will be by university tutors or associates approved by the Faculty. The CMS generic award modules are as follows:

Leadership Learning & Continuous Development (BU7701), Marketing Across Boundaries (BU7702), Finance for Managers (BU7703).

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
BU7701 7 Leadership Learning and Continuous Professional Development 20 Comp
BU7702 7 Marketing Across Boundaries 20 Comp
BU7703 7 Finance for Managers 20 Comp

60 credits for a Postgraduate Certificate in Management Studies

Thisclear exit point enable participants to gain the award or defer their studies. However, in line with current best practice it is recognised that with the increasing mobility in the working population studies may be disrupted or delayed by work re-locations or personal circumstances. The award of Postgraduate Certificate in Management Studies gives participants the opportunity to gain an award and also to continue their studies at an appropriate time.

This will be consistent with the University's Widening Access and Participation Strategy 

All applicants must normally:             

  • Possess an honours degree or equivalent i.e. professional qualification, from a recognised British or overseas institution.            
  • Attend an interview to satisfy a requirement of a minimum of one year's appropriate management or business experience with an ability to complete the programme satisfactorily and benefit from it. Individuals will also be selected on the basis of the contribution they may be expected to make as well as the benefit they receive.  

Under QAA typology the CMS is defined as a type 3 career development M level programme requiring significant relevant work experience. Mature candidates with significant management experience may be admitted to the programme without degree or degree equivalent qualifications if they can demonstrate their potential to meet the learning requirements of the programme. Eligibility will be determined by means of an interview with the admissions tutor and subject to confirmation with the CMS programme leader. All such students must provide written references for their work experience.

Applicants for whom English is not a native language must also demonstrate proficiency in English language. Such applicants will be required, normally to achieve scores of 6.5 on IELTS.

Entry with Credit 

Entrants with CIPD accreditation will be given 20 credit exemptions from the following modules:  Leadership Learning and Continuous Professional Development.

Entrants with ACCA accreditation will be given 20 credit exemptions from the following modules: Finance for Managers.

Under QAA typology the CMS is defined as a type 3 career development level 7 programme requiring significant relevant work experience. With regard to the general business and management content the broad nature of the award with its strategic underpinning reflects the expected content of these.

This is line with University guidelines.  There is a strong emphasis on action based learning in the workplace and teaching informed by research active academics and practitioners.

A combination of the following learning and teaching methods are used:

  • Action Centred Learning
  • Work based activities 
  • Formal lectures and briefings
  • Workshops
  • Individual and group tutorials
  • Presentations
  • Seminars and group discussions
  • Directed and independent study, e.g. using on-line materials

As the programme progresses the emphasis shifts from conventional knowledge acquisition to the development of concepts, the exercise of judgement and the application of skills. Delivery styles will reflect this: didactic methods will be used less and participant-centred learning processes will predominate.  

Although formal teaching styles will be used where appropriate, the responsibility for learning lies with participants. The role of academic staff will be mainly that of facilitators in the learning process.  Participant-centred methods will be used whenever possible. The formal teaching processes will make use of directed study, seminars, group exercises and work-based activities and case studies to inform the learning process.

During the induction sessions students will be assisted by the Programme Director/Tutors to form Learning Support Groups comprising 5/6 students. The purpose of such groups will be to enable the students to gain support from one another in matters relating to the programme and exchange information relevant to the learning process. Group members will be encouraged to share work based experiences, explore issues arising from the academic content of the programme, and will work together outside the classroom on group assignments used for formative assessment purposes.

The formation of Learning Support Groups (LSGs) will help to stimulate participation and involvement among students on the programme as peer group learning takes place.  Although group work is important, the needs of the individual will not be overlooked and both learning and teaching will be individualised through the mechanism of continuous personal and professional development and interaction with tutors on an individual basis.

The VLE, E-mail and other electronic communication systems facilitate the exchange of information among students and staff. This is accessible externally as well as internally to the University. Special workshops /and or weekend sessions are arranged as the occasion and demand from students arises.

The programme will make use of diagnostic, formative, and summative forms of assessment and will be derived from self, peer, mentor, and/or tutor input.  Assignments will usually be focussed on the workplace and where appropriate, case studies and simulated activities will be used to reinforce the academic and theoretical underpinnings delivered on the course.  Assignments across all modules are designed so that they meet both the QAA subject benchmarks (see section 25) and the programme's learning outcomes (see section 26).

Assessment will normally take the form of a work related assignment or relevant industry case study will be employed in the assessment of the participants:

Normally a 20 credit module will have an assessment equivalent to:      

  • Either one 4,000 word individual assignment·      
  • Or up to four hours of examination, or time constrained assignment, in addition preparation time, including group learning sets, tutorials & student led case study workshops. 

(The above is provided as guidance only)  

All modules must be successfully completed in order to gain the CMS qualification.


The philosophy of the CMS has a strong emphasis on professionalism.  It is the expectation that students will attend all lectures at Shrewsbury unless they have made suitable arrangements with the programme leader. 

Students will also be expected to honour obligations to other students and staff when engaged in group work or work placements.  Non-compliance may result in students being withdrawn from the programme.

Subject Assessment, Examination and Awards Boards

Assessment, Examination and Awards Boards will be held throughout the year to ensure that students progress in a timely manner.  It is envisaged that this frequency will also enhance the student experience of part time students in terms of assessment, notification of results and the opportunity for re-assessment and progression.

The developed body of knowledge gained from this programme will facilitate a systematic, scientific and reflective approach to management enabling graduating students to be adaptive, strategic thinkers able to evaluate critically and respond to complex business issues, and apply high-level business skills and knowledge from academic to the business internal and external context. The overall outcome from a student engaging with the programme of study will be a manager who is able to add value to the market place by meeting the expectations of employers, via the application of acquired transferable, integrated skills. 

The University is commitmed to the active promotion of equality of opportunity.  The  University seeks to ensure that no student is disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: gender; age; marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union; and socio-economic background. It also aims to ensure that disabled people and those with special needs do not suffer unfair discrimination, and that they are enabled to achieve their full potential as students.  This programme is  designed fully embracing the University's commitment to diversity and equality. The programme is developed and delivered with the following aspects in mind:

  • Admission requirements are clearly set out in promotional materials and due consideration is given to a policy of widening access, participation, diversity and equality. 
  • Each module and programme is developed in line with University policy to both promote equality and diversity and encourage all students in the development of their learning.
  • There is flexibility in materials and delivery of teaching to support students with disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds and the Department works closely with Learning Support in delivering this support through Learning Support Plans.
  • The induction activities are designed to integrate all students both academically and socially and to make academic staff aware of any issues.  Students are made aware of avenues of support if they a have any issues regarding diversity and equality. .
  • Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills.
  • In order to ensure that the needs of all students are met any barriers to access (physical, environmental and curriculum) are identified and removed or reasonable adjustments will be made based on requirements.
  • All learning materials and teaching and learning sessions are designed to be free from racist, sexist and other discriminatory assumptions and practices.

All tutors and support staff are aware of diversity issues and discharge their roles with knowledge and sympathy.  Additionally staff development programmes addressing the specific issues of a diverse international student body are being planned. The programme is delivered in English and provided the student has attained the defined standard there are no significant cultural issues.

Participants are encouraged to apply for student membership of the Chartered Management Institute and upon graduation are encouraged to work towards full chartered status. Close links with the Institute will be maintained.

The underlying philosophy of the CMS is one of self-reliance and professionalism.  Students are expected to take responsibility for their continuous professional development.

The underpinning cultural context is that of the Chartered Management Standards with a focus on ethical business practice, honouring obligations to others and competence in business and management skills.  There is also a strong emphasis on action centred learning in the work place, supported by experienced tutors who are academics and practitioners. The majority of staff teaching on the CMS are also engaged in research and this is a valuable addition to the student experience.

It is envisaged that students will be able to apply best practice gained on the programme to their place of work. They will also have developed a personal philosophy of management as a creative and innovating function.

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